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Regenerative Repair of Damaged Meniscus with Autologous Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are defined as pluripotent cells found in numerous human tissues, including bone marrow and adipose tissue. Such MSCs, isolated from bone marrow and adipose tissue, have been shown to differentiate into bone and cartilage, along with other types of tissues. Therefore, MSCs represent a promising new therapy in regenerative medicine. The initial treatment of meniscus tear of the knee is managed conservatively with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. When such conservative treatment fails, an arthroscopic resection of the meniscus is necessary. However, the major drawback of the meniscectomy is an early onset of osteoarthritis. Therefore, an effective and noninvasive treatment for patients with continuous knee pain due to damaged meniscus has been sought. Here, we present a review, highlighting the possible regenerative mechanisms of damaged meniscus with MSCs (especially adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs)), along with a case of successful repair of torn meniscus with significant reduction of knee pain by percutaneous injection of autologous ASCs into an adult human knee.